Wooden coaster crossties

Here is a very nerdy question about crossties on wooden coasters, or more specifically sections where instead of crossties there are solid sections of wood between the rails.

I noticed a few such sections on Thunderhead (Dollywood)last week, and as I recall much of Holiday World's Legend (including the entire last turn) is built like this.

Here is a picture of a solid section on Legend:

What is the purpose of these solid sections?
Are they in-place of, or laid over top of, the crossties?

Thanks for any insight!

CoasterDemon's avatar

Sometimes they are solid to prevent grease or anything else from flying off the train and onto other stuff, like people.


Hmmmm... I've noticed those too, and while I'm not the expert here, I've always assumed it was laid over the regular ties. I've also guessed that it was in a spot that perhaps crossed over another section of track thus preventing anything from falling through to riders or track below. Or maybe in places where maintenance workers or other employees might need to walk on a regular basis or cross over without danger.

I've also noticed the really old coasters, like scenics that still operate in Europe, have that style of solid track throughout the ride.

Just a stab.

Protecting from flying grease and other objects makes sense, especially on the last part of Legend. There are queue areas all around and underneath there.

Thanks for the answers.

delan's avatar

....Or..... a handy dandy waterslide in heavy rain.

I thought this was going to be a question about the double cross supports running parallel to the track that started to appear in 2009 on Mean Streak / Blue Streak in the middle of the track. I imagine other wooden coasters have them too. Does anyone know why these were added? Added support? Walkways for maintenance crew?

They were not there at all from inception-2008:


Then, in 2009 they started to appear on the straight parts of the track:


By 2010, they covered the entire length of the track:


Last edited by Jeph,

If I remember right, they were installed for maintenance after the whole OSHA spat after the 2008 or 2009 season (can't remember which).

Original BlueStreak64

The new lumber on Mean Streak (also on Blue Streak) is fall protection. It isn't really a walkway, but the idea is that it reduces the size of the openings so that a workman is less likely to fall through the track. That much I know to be true.

What I wonder is if it allows the workers to walk the track without being tied off. That I don't know.

(Trivia: There is an ASTM F-24 task group working on a fall protection standard for amusement rides. Cedar Fair's director of maintenance and construction is heading that group. I guess they are putting their experience dealing with OSHA to good use.)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

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